Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global health concern that can cause acute and chronic liver diseases. Thus, there is an urgent need to research novel anti-HBV agents. Our previous reports show that N-phenylbenzamide derivatives exert broad-spectrum antiviral effects against HIV-1, HCV, and EV71 by increasing intracellular levels of APOBEC3G (A3G). As A3G is capable of inhibiting the replication of HBV, we screened the N-phenylbenzamide derivatives against HBV.
In this study, a new derivative, N-(4-chlorophenyl)-4-methoxy-3-(methylamino) benzamide (IMB-0523), was synthesized and its anti-HBV activity was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The acute toxicity and pharmacokinetic profiles of IMB-0523 were also investigated.
Our results show that IMB-0523 has higher anti-HBV activity in both wild-type HBV (IC 50: 1.99 µM) and drug-resistant HBV (IC 50: 3.30 µM) than lamivudine (3TC, IC 50: 7.37 µM in wild-type HBV, IC 50: >440 µM in drug-resistant HBV). The antiviral effect of IMB-0523 against HBV may be due to an increased level of intracellular A3G. IMB-0523 also showed low acute toxicity (LD 50: 448 mg/kg) in mice and promising PK properties (AUC 0-t: 7535.10±2226.73 µg·h/L) in rats. Further, IMB-0523 showed potent anti-HBV activity in DHBV-infected ducks.